I remember so clearly chatting with L.A.-based makeup artist and creative Giavonna Brascia while sitting at a bar at LAX in transit on my way to Montreal in early 2011. A young, fearless Gia was telling me with passion how she wanted to see the world and to find a way for her craft to take her there. A year later, the babe has out-traveled me x 100. She’s a living example that if you follow your gut and keep your eyes on the prize, goodness happens. Oh and being hot and talented helps for sure. In this featured editorial set in Miami and titled Gods of Blood and Thunder, my gorgeous friend plays muse for the one and only, Charis Kirchheimer.
LF: This shoot is absolutely stunning! We’re loving this creative love affair you and Charis have going on! How did you come up with the concept of that shoot?
GB: I love her style and how she captures people effortlessly and makes them appear so dynamic . She takes a simple picture and brings it to life as if a million stories could be behind it. All her images hold a lot of mystery. We’d shot once before and I loved the images, but with this shoot I really wanted to let loose. Basically I had a few days off on my current tour and decided to come to Miami for a mini vacation… it was playfully deemed the “Gia gets her groove back retreat.” We had no real plan for the photos, just some lose ideas we tossed around. It was very organic and we just played it by ear. I styled myself with the help of some of her unique jewelry and did my hair and makeup and we just went for it. Charis and I have a certain comradery and kindred spirit that helped me feel very comfortable in front of the camera. There also may have been a bottle of whiskey involved. (wink!)
LF: You recently lost quite a bit of weight, you’re in top shape! Tell us about your health routine and your change of habits.
GB: Well thank you for noticing! When I was in Boston a couple months ago I had Dr. Mark Mincolla do a work up on me. Showed up I had gluten and dairy sensitivities. So I basically cut out gluten and dairy and have stuck to a work out regimen of high intensity interval training and cardio.
LF: How do you keep up with this while on the road?
GB: I don’t always have access to a gym, so I’ll utilize my space as much as possible. I’ll work out in venue parking lots doing jump rope, sprints, squats, lunges, push ups, the whole nine. I mix up my routine and try to keep it interesting. And when we stay in hotels, I hit the gym. Eating has been essentially effortless since Jason Mraz has the whole tour catered with healthy, delicious food every day. I just make the right choices.
LF: Speaking of touring, do you have any fun behind the scenes stories from your travels with Christina Perri?
GB: The fond memories are really countless. The whole team has become a family to me. I think one of my favorite behind the scenes moments that happens every night before the show starts, is the “Pre show pump up dance” done to Beyonce’s “love on top.” It brings hilarity.
LF: Favorite city you’ve had a chance to visit?
GB: Wow, hard to chose. This tour has taken me all over the world in a matter of months. I feel like its been the “31 flavors” of seeing the world. I get to taste test everything but haven’t fully emerged myself in any particular culture. However, the cities that resonated most with me were Vienna, Austria, Cologne, Germany and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Vienna for its breathtaking history and architecture…. my heart was literally pounding the whole time I was there. It felt familiar, perhaps I had lived well there in a past life. I also got to visit Beethoven’s grave which was a real treat. Cologne, Germany for the gothic beauty that is the Cologne Cathedral. And lastly Kuala Lumpur because it was a tropical paradise and the people were warm and friendly; the food delicious.
LF: Secret weapon product right now…
GB: I love YSL faux cils mascara. It’s a miracle worker! Makes for super long, thick but not clumpy lashes. I’m a mascara girl and am always trying different kinds and so far YSL wins over them all. It’s worth it to spend a little extra dime on your makeup, it really makes all the difference.
LF: One thing that’s always in your kit.
GB: Chapstick. The makeup can be flawless, but dry lips can be a deal breaker. I also swear by too faced brand eye primer called “shadow insurance”. I use it on Christina and Jason Mraz’s girls and they go out and perform in all kinds of conditions and their eyeshadow doesn’t budge.
LF: One beauty pet peeve.
GB: Poorly filled-in eye brows and poorly done winged-out liner.
LF: First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
GB: Check my phone.
LF: Tell me about your tattoos. What’s your favorite tattoo? When did you get your sleeve, what’s the story behind it?
GB: My favorite tattoo is the one that reads across my shoulder ” As Above, So Below.” It’s an ancient truth that I discovered a few years ago and it changed my perspective. It’s empowering and beautiful and can have its own meaning to each individual. Since honing in on my understanding of it I have been able to manifest my reality, and I’m so grateful for that. So it serves as a reminder.
My sleeve is just full of things that make me happy. Since I can remember I’ve been attracted to the darker side of everything . Halloween being one of them, something about the ironic aesthetic of monsters, skeletons and ghosts being portrayed as cute during the holiday just fascinated me. Halloween also comes during my favorite time of year, there’s just something about the season that makes me feel alive. So I chose to get a Halloween themed sleeve on the sole basis that it made me happy.
LF: What are your favorite tutorials you’ve posted on your blog?
GB: I’m all about teaching women to enhance their natural beauty as opposed to hide it with too much makeup. My signature style is more simplistic and I enjoy dewy skin and earth tones. I try to keep my tutorials simple and user friendly. My favorite is the “sexy neutrals” tutorial. It teaches you a sexy, simple way to glam yourself up for evening by using neutral tones that could go with any outfit.
LF: Favorite music video ever.
GB: Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails. Coming from a strict Christian upbringing, music videos were a no-no. At age 9 I saw my first music video ever, Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails at a friend’s house. I was never the same after, it was the preface to who I was going to become and what I was going to be drawn to. To this day the song and music video move me in a way I can’t describe. I even got the lyrics from the song tattooed on my thigh.
LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?
GB: Honesty, intelligence, mental foreplay, a kindred soul, death metal, and a giver.
LF: How fast do you live?
GB: Pretty damn fast, I wake up in a different city every day.
Photography by Charis Kirchheimer